There’s nothing better than a family holiday. It can sometimes be tricky choosing a destination that will appeal to everyone, especially if you have young children and grandparents to keep entertained, but there’s plenty of incredible places all over the world that are perfect for all types of families. To celebrate International Day of Families on Tuesday 15 May, 2018, we are looking at some of the best destinations to take your family on holiday.
The wide choice of resorts available to RCI members in the holiday exchange company's network have everything covered when it comes to catering for families. Timeshare accommodation is usually more spacious than hotel rooms, and come complete with all the home comforts a family needs, including kitchen facilities, giving you a great dining in option if you would rather not eat out every day. That way, you can take your time and enjoy your holiday at your own pace.
Here are five of our top destinations for a great family holiday.
Mexico is often overlooked as a family holiday destination, but it is a perfect place to escape for a week or two away in the sun. Many of the resorts available to RCI members in Mexico are all-inclusive, which makes it a fantastic option if you have children - they can eat and drink all day without you counting the cost. Not only that, but the resorts are filled with so many activities, having round-the-clock entertainment for all ages, you don’t even have to leave the resort with your little ones - or older ones - to have a good time on this holiday.
The RCI-affiliated IBEROSTAR Tucan (DB93) resort in Playa del Carmen in Mexico is a beautiful beachfront resort, set in rainforest-style gardens. In the resort’s gardens you’ll find lots of different, friendly, animals, including peacocks strutting about the place and even a pool of flamingos! For the children, there is a kids’ club and they have their own pool, as well as two separate pools for the grown ups.
There are eight restaurants at the resort and several bars - it really does cater for everyone’s tastes. The resort also has a great evening entertainment programme which includes shows, games, music and dancing to keep everyone smiling and enjoying themselves throughout their stay.
If you do want to venture off-site, Mexico has some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, including Playacar, which runs along the front of the resort. The crystal-clear Caribbean sea is perfect for snorkelling and scuba-diving if you have older children who want to meet the local marine life - and many of the resorts in RCI's holiday exchange network have on-site diving schools so you can learn the basics before diving under the waves.
There are also the Mayan ruins of Chichén Itzá - one of the New Seven Wonders of the World - to explore. With its iconic pyramid architecture, this ancient place of worship provides a fascinating insight into Mayan culture and is a place that both young and old will find intriguing. It is a definite must-do day out.
Mexico is a destination that is rich in history, with plenty of sunshine and great beaches - what more could you want from a holiday?
There are 657 RCI-affiliated resorts in Mexico.
Orlando in Florida - the US Sunshine State - is home to the greatest theme parks in the world! You’ll be pushed to find a more family-orientated holiday destination anywhere, and there really is something for everyone here, from the young to the young at heart.
Whether you’re skipping down Main Street in the Magic Kingdom or buying your Hogwarts' robes in Madam Malkin's Robes for all Occasions in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, there’s something truly magical about the Walt Disney World and Universal Studios parks.
With shows, fireworks, fancy dress and incredible parades, you’ll find yourself hugging your favourite characters, buying merchandise to fill the space you should leave in your suitcase, and drinking your weight in butterbeer. It really is an incredible holiday experience.
Though don’t think you have to have children to go to Disney World, I went on my honeymoon before I had children and had the holiday of a lifetime!
Away from the parks there is so much to do, you could fill a whole other holiday if Disney princesses and wizards are not really your thing.
Spend evenings exploring Celebration Florida - another Walt Disney brainchild - filled with shops, restaurants and entertainment. Marvel at the dolphins and whales in SeaWorld; or fly down a water slide in one of the many waterparks; or dispose of your holiday spends in a designer outlet. There’s so much fun to be had in Orlando, both inside and outside the famous theme parks.
The Sunshine State is more than just its capital. Daytona is one of the best places in the US for families, as there is so much to do. The mecca of motorsports, The Daytona International Speedway is a must-visit for children and adults alike.
Daytona is also known as the Festival Capital of America, so make sure you check out the local events before you visit so you don’t miss out on one of the fun festivals while you’re there.
You can’t possibly think about going to Daytona without visiting the beach. There are over 20 miles of sand to play, walk and sunbathe on, so pick your spot and enjoy some of the warm Florida sunshine.
There is something rather nostalgic about a beach boardwalk and pier, and Daytona’s is the heartland of the city. Restaurants, shops, exciting thrill-rides and arcades make this a fantastic place to spend holiday time with the children.
If there are golfers in your party, Daytona is one of the best places in the States to play, with several world-class courses on your doorstep, so give one a try!
There are 422 RCI-affiliated resorts in Florida.
Finland is one of the most magical places on earth and a perfect family holiday destination. While it is beautiful all year round with plenty to do, the winter is when Finland really comes alive - especially during the festive period. Lapland is one of those places that most children dream of visiting to meet Santa Claus and his reindeer in real life.
Santa's village in Rovaniemi is a place that will really get you in the mood for Christmas. A wonderland of frosted trees, garlands and baubles, all sprinkled with fairy lights glittering in the snowy landscape, Santa Claus Village is an experience that children will remember forever - and so will you! Take a picture of the family with the big guy himself, before enjoying a sleigh ride to make it even more magical.
If you’re more of a thrill-seeker, try a husky ride - something else the children won’t forget in a hurry. Hurtling through the beautiful countryside, speeding past the snow-covered trees, is really a breathtaking experience you won't get the chance to do on most of your holidays, it is quite unique!
When you’ve had your Christmas fill, hit the slopes. Lapland boasts some of the most fantastic ski slopes in the world, catering for beginners and experts alike, and everyone in between. There are some excellent resorts available through RCI membership in Lapland that offer great facilities - some even have saunas in each apartment, just as the Finns do - many with stunning views across the mountains!
And, of course, Finland is known for being one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights. If you’re lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the natural phenomenon which sends a kaleidoscope of dancing colours across the sky, it will really take your breath away.
The best time to see the Northern Lights is between November and February, and the further north in Finland you are the better your chance of seeing them, so make the most of your Lapland base and look up once darkness falls.
There are 39 RCI-affiliated resorts in Finland.
If you are looking for a family holiday that combines sun, sea and sand, Tenerife ticks all the boxes. With year-round sun, you can spend days at the beach, even in December when there’s snow on the ground in the UK - not many destinations are only a four-hour flight away from the UK can offer that.
The south of the island is packed with tourist hotspots and beaches. For those who like to party, head for the lively bars and clubs of Playa de las Américas. If you relish fine dining and meandering gently through ancient streets then the beautiful Old Town of Adeje is probably more your kind of place. The north is much more quintessentially Spanish, with beautiful old churches, interesting architecture, and plenty of restaurants serving traditional Spanish cuisine to savour a long and delicious meal. Lago Martianez, a beautiful and artful man-made lagoon, provides safe bathing, sun loungers, parasols and refreshments, just steps away from the attractive and sophisticated centre of Puerto de la Cruz.
Tenerife is a small island - you can drive the whole way around it in a day, comfortably - but it packs in more variety of landscape and holiday experiences per square mile than most other destinations I can think of.
Europe’s biggest water park, Siam Park, is one of the best family` days out in Tenerife. The Thai-themed water park is a world-class attraction. From the adrenaline junkies to those who prefer to keep their feet a little closer to the ground, Siam Park should definitely have something to please.
In the north of the island, Puerto de la Cruz is not only an elegant holiday base, but also home to Loro Parque, which happens to be one of the best attractions on the island for all ages. This zoo is home to hundreds of birds, mammals and fish, including dolphins, orcas, various species of monkeys and lots of different types of birds, notably its many colourful chatty and friendly parrots. You can even get a picture holding a parrot, which comes highly recommended.
The star of Tenerife is, of course, Teide National Park. To make the most of the spectacular views that the volcano offers, you can take a cable car up to a viewing point where you can see for miles and miles, and it only takes eight minutes to get up there. From there, you can hike further - if you are fit and are wearing some sturdy footwear. It is worth it - you feel as if you really are on top of the world!
If you have a driver in your party, it is a fascinating and easy drive up Mount Teide. You still have to take the cable car to the summit - you won't get your hire car up that far - but there are many wonderful stopping points on the way up, or down. You can take in the views with a refreshing drink in one of the roadside cafés or, if you drive up a little higher, sip your coffee while looking down on the clouds...
An expedition up Mount Teide isn’t just a great day out, but is also one of the best places in the world for stargazing. So, if you have a budding astronomer in the family, once the sun goes down, look up. You can actually book star gazing tours, some of which incorporate a meal and a glass of bubbly under the stars, so if the grandparents are happy to look after the children for the evening, you can indulge in one of the most romantic dinners ever.
There are 59 RCI-affiliated resorts in Tenerife.
Malta is an island which has a diverse culture, beautiful architecture and interesting history - all of which makes for a great holiday destination. You will spend hours simply wandering around the charming streets of the capital, Valletta, exploring the many quirky and traditional shops, cafés and restaurants.
Stop for an ice-cream to cool down from the summer sun and do a bit of people watching. There is a laid-back vibe to Malta, meaning you can take things at your own pace - great if you are travelling with both young and older members of your family...
There are some great days out to be had on the island that will keep everyone busy and smiling!
The Splash & Fun Water Park is one place that you should add to your Malta holiday itinerary. There’s a wave pool and plenty of slides of all sizes - including The Black Hole for the brave. For those who prefer a calmer time out on the water, there are plenty of swimming pools and, of course, a lazy river.
For film fans who love nothing more than a bit of nostalgia, Popeye Village is a must-see. The old film set from the 1980 Musical, 'Popeye', starring Robin Williams, is still standing and makes for a really unique afternoon out. Often, Popeye, Olive Oyl, Bluto and Wimpy will be there taking part in shows and meeting visitors. There are also rides and a museum based on the film to round off the whole Popeye experience.
There is also the opportunity to visit the nearby island of Gozo, which takes just 25 minutes by ferry. The island is much lusher and greener than its larger neighbour and is perfect for getting close to nature. It has some brilliant hiking routes, while some of the best diving spots in Europe are peppered along its coast. It is definitely worth a day trip!
Again, in Malta you have a small island with much to offer. The fact that it is easy to drive around - they drive on the same side as we do in the UK - is a bonus for those who want to do a little more exploring of the outlying villages and inland areas. There are so many lovely little bars, tucked away in shady village squares, that if you are driving, you will have some quaint and charming options to stop, stretch your legs, have a look around a traditional village and live like a local taking your time over a cooling drink in a sun-dappled square.
There are 18 RCI-affiliated resorts in Malta.
There is a lot to be said for multi-generational holidays. It is rare in these busy days that we get the time to spend together - grandparents, parents, children - away from the strains and stresses of everyday life, relaxed in a wonderful destination. Timeshare accommodation is especially comfortable for families, being a real home from home. Many even have a crèche - but if Granny and Gramps are along on the holiday, who needs a crèche?
I hope that the ideas I have selected here for a little family fun time under the sun have got you thinking about family holidays and all that a timeshare - or shared holiday ownership as they are also known - can offer you. It is one of the most flexible ways to holiday in that you can book holiday accommodation of different sizes and levels of privacy to suit your family needs. And because so many of the resorts offering timeshare as a holiday option have been around for forty years or more, they benefit from prime locations close to the beaches, parks and other attractions - perfect for those taking the youngest and oldest members of their family off on holiday together.
So, if you’re looking to book your next family holiday look no further than the RCI Resort Directory. Click the button below to choose the perfect resort where all the family can have a great time...
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